Friday, October 18, 2013

The Innocence Project Invents False Confessions

Innocence Project Invents False Confessions
150% fraud rate in "confessions"?

"Peter Neufeld, a co-founder of The Innocence Project, who was in attendance, . . . did not deny Dr. Welner’s charge that The Innocence Project has falsely inflated its numbers of false confessions. Neufeld additionally revealed, in his response to Dr. Welner, that The Innocence Project also classifies cases as false confessions even when their own exonerated clients are adamant that they never confessed – because, as Neufeld asserted, “some of our clients are not reliable with what they tell us.”

"Dr. Welner demonstrated how poor scientific methodology and an anti-police agenda among declared scholars in this novel area of scientific interest result in inflated perceptions of the prevalence of false confessions.

These include false representations by The Innocence Project that the proportion of false confessions in wrongful conviction cases is 25 percent when that percentage is in actuality close to 10 percent.

Dr. Welner challenged assertions of published academics such as Gisli Gudjonsson, Saul Kassin, Richard Ofshe, Richard Leo, and Steven Drizin that confirmed false confessions are “frequent,” a “small but significant minority” of confessions, and “the tip of the iceberg.”

From studies of observed police interrogation, studies of interrogations in jurisdictions such as Salt Lake City, surveys of police officers, and the lack of history of false confessions elicited by correctional psychiatrists and more, Dr. Welner demonstrated the rarity of false confessions, though their exact incidence is unknown.

“Is it one in a million interrogations? One in ten million interrogations? One in one hundred thousand? We do not know. But false confessions are tragic enough,” he asserted. “Embellishment does not serve justice and takes away from the credibility of a legitimate concern.”

“The Innocence Project finds their clients reliable enough to assert that they are innocent rather than freed by the good fortune of contradictory scientific evidence,” Dr. Welner observed. “To then say that their clients are not reliable when they say they never confessed – well, either you trust your clients or you don’t. Objectivity does not allow forensic science the liberty of changing a threshold of ‘reliable’ to suit the argument of the moment.”

"Forensic Panel Chair’s Testimony on False Confessions to NYS Justice Task Force Tackles Myths, Proposes New Solutions ", NEWS RELEASE, The Forensic Panel, Michael Welner, M.D., Chairman,
JANUARY 24, 2011,